Stanley Kirk Burrell does not nearly get the credit he deserves.
You love harem pants? Stanley Kirk Burrell was wearing those in the late 80s, early 90s.
You love saying it’s all good? Stanley Kirk Burrell came out with a song with the same title in 1994.
You buy stuff because your favorite rapper endorses it? Stanley Kirk Burrell was endorsing Pepsi, KFC and other brands during the last decade of the previous century.
Yet, here you are potentially wondering why I am even writing about this.
Well let me tell you why. It is simple. Go back and read my first sentence.
A few months ago, I had an idea. I wanted to put out a series of tweets detailing why after 30 years I am still a huge fan of his. I even came up with a hashtag: #MCHammerAppreciation. Cute, right?
However, the other day I was teaching one of my fitness classes and one of my participants (Hey Romaine!) mentioned how much she loves MC Hammer – which was fitting because “2 Legit to Quit” had just gone off. And then the idea hit. Forget the other idea. I would include Stanley Kirk Burrell in my Why I: series.
Perfect. Why limit him to some tweets? He deserves much more than that.
Now I am sure some are you probably sitting here reading this like is she serious? This woman is crazy. And if you know me, then you know exactly what I am thinking – I. Do. Not. Care.
I love MC Hammer! Always have. Always will.
Let me take you back.
In 1990, my aunt took me to my first concert. To say I was excited would be an understatement! I talked about this upcoming show for weeks. I listened to songs from all the artists that would be there and I even practiced my dance moves – you know just in case I got called up on stage for an 8 count.
As time for the show drew closer, my anxiousness increased. I did not know what to expect but the one thing I knew is that I would have fun.
The afternoon of the concert was a whirlwind. My mama made sure my jheri curl was nice and shiny. Oh she was poppin! I had my best pair of L.A. Gears laid out, along with some jean shorts and my tshirt. And shoutout to my shoesstring hair bow that accompanied me on this glorious day.
When I entered into the Greensboro Coliseum, I could hardly contain my giddyness. My friend Shanna seemingly was feeling what I was feeling as we looked at each other with wide eyes – you know what you would expect from nine year olds.
Oaktown 357, Michel’le, Troop, After 7. I was getting my life as much as I could at that age. This was the best experience ever. And then that moment went to a whole ‘nother level as the headliner we had all been waiting to see made his way to the stage.
While the energy in the crowd radiated throughout the building, I looked down at my t-shirt and grinned knowing that the words adorned on it were about to come true within a matter of minutes.
it was HAMMER TIME!
Stanley Kirk Burrell put on a performance that left me in awe. He danced. He rapped. He came into the crowd, riding around on someone’s shoulders. I don’t know who that man was but I do know he was strong because they walked all over that coliseum. He made us sing. He had us up out of our seats. And he is single handedly the reason I go to concerts every year – since I was 15.
The concert was that memorable.
And again, you may be sitting there thinking is she serious?
Yepper. Sholl am.
I’m a fan and I have no shame about it. Why should I?
The man gave us hits that can still rock a party. Play “Turn this Mutha Out” or “Pump It Up” at a party with folks 35 and older and see what happens.
The man made a video that my friend Makia and I videotaped so we could learn the dance moves. Til this day I can still do the dance break in the alley that they did in “2 Legit to Quit.”
The man showed us how to be true to ourselves. Ya’ll called him a sellout for it but are now running around here telling people to “live in their truth.”
The man had a cartoon that almost everyone my age got up early on Saturday mornings to watch. And we were all jealous because he had those talking shoes.
The man popularized the Oakland A’s by simply wearing their paraphanaelia often. I saw an A’s hat today that I want and I’m not even sure whose on their team anymore.
The man showed up at the American Music Awards in 2012 – invited by South Korean viral sensation PSY – who seemingly appreciates MC Hammer more than some of you – to perform with him during his set. And he stole the show, of course.
His music is timeless. His reinvention of himself is admirable. His relevancy is prevalent in many artists out today. His impact is undeniable. His dedication is commendable. And his influence of the culture is unparalled – what rappers were dancing before MC Hammer besides maybe Heavy D?
Stanley Kirk Burrell is a hip-hop treasure and should be treated as such.
You can try all you want to act like he is irrelevant. However, the facts are the facts.
And here’s one more fact for you.
He is the first, the first, rapper to ever go Diamond.
10 million albums sold in 14 months.
Only 5 other rappers join him on that exclusive list.
Two have passed away. Two have seemingly done their last shows together as a duo. One is living life in the Lou. And the other delivered a freestyle fury directed at a certain someone during the cypher for the BET Hip-Hop awards last year.
Now excuse me while I go bump “Let’s Get It Started” loudly.